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The poem is a representation of the interaction between an African-American maid, Marrie and her female employer. Every stanza of the poem comprises of a statement by the female employer and a response by Marrie which is internal.
In this poem, the female employer offers her maid various foods. In the first stanza the employer kindly urges Marrie to take anything from the icebox that she would like to eat.
However, Marrie responds that she would prefer to have something else other than what the employer has to offer.
The response seems to be in her head.
This shows that house servants are not allowed to complain openly in this society. In the third and fourth stanzas, her employer offers her sardines, but she is not allowed to eat the anchovies because they are expensive.
The expensive foods are for the superior people in the house, not servants like Marrie. These stanzas show that despite what the employer says, Marrie cannot just have anything from the icebox, but only what her employer wants her to have.
Stanza five shows the employer concluding that Marrie should find enough food in the box to fill her up. What Marrie wants is to go home and eat a proper meal. Her response can be alluded to the saying-when in Rome do as the Romans do. It is a lifestyle she is tired of leading.
The poem shows an element of racism whereby the servant is black while her employer is white. Blacks are viewed as inferior owing to their race.
This is evident in the way her employer only allows her to eat the inexpensive foods because the expensive foods are for the superiors, the whites. This shows the state of the blacks preferably before the Civil rights Act that considered blacks as equal to whites.
The poem also shows the differences in ethnicity of the two characters. The above is a Sample essay.Genealogy & Local History in Buffalo, NY Buffalo Full Text: Listed here are full-text nonfiction books (monographs) and periodicals with a Buffalo, NY connection.
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